The world of MRI fusion biopsies is relatively new. However, it's been around long enough now to have gone through several variations and the technology continues to evolve. In my practice we recently obtained the new BK5000 ultrasound system. Unlike older systems, this new system has 2 distinct advantages. First, the image quality is unsurpassed. Second, the fusion of the ultrasound and MRI images happens directly on the ultrasound unit. Most other systems require an electrical connection to another computer monitor. This can prolong the length of the procedure, require more people to be in the room assisting, and may decrease the accuracy of the results. Fusion biopsies can be done either by the more common trans rectal approach or the increasingly popular trans perineal approach.
Why MRI fusion? Since prostate cancer can exist in either difficult to reach parts of the prostate or in very small sizes, knowing where to place the needle with a high degree of specificity greatly increases the odds of identifying prostate cancer if present. If you think you fall into a category discussed above, ask your Urologist if he/she thinks an MRI fusion biopsy is right for you.